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There are many options for schools in Madeira, according to the age and level of education concerned.

As an autonomous Portuguese region, Madeira adapts the national education policies to the specificities and interests of the region.

The Portuguese educational system is divided into different levels of education, beginning with Pre-School Education, which is optional for children between the ages of 3 and 6. Until that age, children may attend nursery schools, and in Madeira there is a wide variety of public and private nursery schools.

Compulsory education in Madeira begins with three cycles of Basic Education:

Cycle Duration Children's Age
1 4 years from 6 to 10 years of age
2 2 years from 10 to 12 years of age
3 3 years from 12 to 15 years of age


Some schools in Madeira offer all levels of basic education, allowing students to stay in the same institution from 6 to 15 years of age.

Before choosing a particular school, carefully analyse the options according to your objectives and the offer of each school.

This is followed by Secondary Education, which corresponds to a three-year cycle (from 15 to 18 years of age) and includes five types of courses:

  • Scientific-Humanistic Courses
  • Professional courses
  • Specialised artistic courses
  • Courses with their own plans (Scientific and Technological Courses)
  • Teaching and training courses for young people


Higher Education is structured according to the Bologna principles and is aimed at students who have successfully completed Secondary Education or who possess a legally equivalent qualification.

Public Schools in Madeira

Education in Madeira is provided by the Regional Government through the various schools in Madeira. Education is free and compulsory for all residents until the twelfth year or 18 years of age. The children of foreigners residing in Madeira also benefit from free public education under the same conditions as Portuguese citizens.

As a rule, pupils must enrol in the schools nearest their area of residence and specific deadlines exist for this purpose.

Although public schools in Madeira do not generally offer extra-curricular activities or complementary services, there is no shortage of sports, cultural and artistic activities in the region where students may enrol, some of which may provide transport to and from school. In any case, you will find that school logistics are much easier in a small and safe region like Madeira.


Private Schools in Madeira

There are many public schools in Madeira, covering all levels of Portuguese education.

When choosing a school, take into account the educational programme, the type of extracurricular activities they offer, class sizes, fees, accessibility, etc. NEWCO can help you identify and answer the relevant questions when choosing schools in Madeira.


International Schools in Madeira

The International School of Madeira and the International Sharing School Madeira are private schools in Madeira that offer education in English. These schools are in the capital city of Funchal are fully integrated with Madeira’s public education system. Students that leave these schools can enter all public schools in Madeira without any further requirements.


Universities in Madeira

The University of Madeira (UMa) is the only public university in Madeira. It offers Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees in various areas, namely Management and Economics, Civil Engineering and Geology, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Design of Interactive Media, Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry, Biology, Medicine and Nursing, among others.

Alternatively, there is ISAL, a private higher education institution that offers courses in Administration and Tourism; and the S. José Cluny Higher School of Nursing.

Relevant Contacts

International School of Madeira


Sharing School of Madeira


University of Madeira